26 March 2018
Britain's biggest multichannel broadcaster, UKTV, has appointed Philippa Collie Cousins as its first dedicated drama commissioner.
Reporting into Pete Thornton, Senior Commissioning Editor for scripted content, Philippa will join UKTV in May and will oversee all upcoming original drama series for UKTV.
This comes at a time when the broadcaster has announced a major push into drama. UKTV is actively seeking to commission four original six-part crime series and thrillers for Alibi and Drama. Last week it also announced Flack, the first drama for W co-commissioned with American network Pop and co-produced by Hat Trick Productions and Anna Paquin's production company CASM Films.
Philippa's arrival signals the continued expansion of the UKTV's commissioning team as the total number of commissioned hours from indies is set to grow by nearly a third in 2018. Pete Thornton reports into Director of Commissioning, Richard Watsham and works alongside Hilary Rosen, deputy director who heads up factual entertainment and Iain Coyle, comedy entertainment.
Philippa Collie Cousins
Philippa is the BAFTA Award winning director behind The Deadness of Dad, starring Rhys Ifans and is currently executive producing with Red Productions on a 10-part drama for a US Broadcaster.
As Head of Development at Fresh Pictures, Philippa made Bugsplat with Writer/Director Guy Jenkin starring Hugh Skinner and worked on Warsaw Spies with David Tennant At BBC Indie Commissioning she worked as Head of Production on Saturday night drama Robin Hood with Tiger Aspect and mid-week high-end drama, Spooks with Kudos and BAFTA nominated serial, Small Island with Alison Owen, starring Naomie Harris and Ruth Wilson.
Philippa has also been Head of Drama and Comedy Development at Hartswood West where she worked on the multi-award-winning Sherlock, whilst also seeking out and working with best of writing talent in the Nations and Regions.
Philippa won best European Director for her film Happy Now starring Jonny Rhys Myer and Paddy Considine.
I am really looking forward to finding the best original drama for UKTV. Drama can and will go platinum in the UK because we have brilliant writers and directors working here. We have to be brave to break new ground and new narratives. My aim is to commission the best talent for UKTV.
Pete Thornton, added,
I'm thrilled at the prospect of Philippa joining the scripted team at UKTV to spearhead our move into drama commissioning. She brings with her a wealth of invaluable experience and a reputation for impeccable taste, having been involved in the development and production of some of the UK's best loved dramas of recent years. This is a busy, dynamic and exciting time at UKTV and I can't wait to welcome Philippa to the team.
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UKTV is a commercial broadcaster reaching over 40m viewers every month.
The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market.
The network delivers inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories. Now celebrating over 20 years at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Discovery, Inc. - is proud to be the first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.